The APAC Visual Arts education program teaches our students to observe the world more closely. This process of observation and study helps teach students to better analyze the world around them—skills that make up the bedrock of critical thinking. The goal of the Power APAC Visual Arts Department is to use arts education to help our students develop the following 5 critical skills:
- Creativity: In a word full of highly educated workers, creativity is one of the top skills that set someone apart from the pack. Having the ability to think imaginatively and bring fresh ideas to the table are essential to innovation and progress.
- Collaboration: Working together for a common purpose teaches children that their contribution is important which is perfect for the collaborative nature of the arts. By working collaboratively on a project, students learn to communicate more effectively, compromise when necessary, and work hard even if their role may seem small.
- Confidence & Improved Resiliency: The arts create a safe space for students to explore their talents and build their confidence. Students gain the assurance to stand up and talk about their artwork. Visual arts production can actually change the wiring of the brain, improving areas that help students manage current and future stress. With this confidence, they are more likely to take risks and step out of their comfort zone to try new things in other areas of their lives.
- Cultural Awareness & Empathy: The arts provide a unique platform to discuss many different cultures, socioeconomic levels, and current events. Through the arts, students have a place not only to learn about different cultures than their own, but also to ask questions and be more informed. By learning about other people, children are able to develop their ability for empathy, essential in working with people from all walks of life.
- Critical Thinking: When students are making a work of art, the process includes conceptual and interpretational thinking that helps build their critical thinking skills including observation, reasoning, and problem-solving. During the creative process, children use logic and problem solving to strategize how to reach their goal.
The educational philosophy of the Elementary Power APAC Visual Arts Department is to help fourth and fifth graders establish a creative awareness, nurture an appreciation of the creative process, and support a natural interest in the arts. The student is introduced to studio discipline and practice and to the wide variety of media/techniques in the Visual Arts. Students will have opportunities to compete in local and national art competitions and participate in exhibits throughout the year.
The philosophy of the Secondary (Middle and High school) Power APAC Visual Arts program is structured to provide sound foundational training in the fundamentals of observational study without sacrificing creative thinking skills. Students participate in “hands on” units of study in Drawing, Design, Painting, Printmaking, Sculpture, Ceramics, Digital Design and Photography, and Art History. Students will have opportunities to compete in local and national art competitions and exhibits throughout the year, as well as to compete in the rigorous, nationally recognized Scholastics Visual Art competition. Junior and Senior high school students will participate in the Advanced Placement Portfolio program. Recruiters and guest speakers will reinforce the advantages of higher art education (with scholarships) and art careers. Serious students can use art as a way of expanding knowledge and skills, as a means of personal expression and delight and as a vehicle to explore art as an essential ingredient of daily life. Students that wish to continue in a career in the arts will have the opportunity for mentoring by local artists and artisans.